Shopkeeper, 81, 'glad to help' catch fugitive

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The Independent Online

The elderly garage owner who spotted the fugitive Mark Hobson denied yesterday that he was a hero, saying: "I had to do something."

The elderly garage owner who spotted the fugitive Mark Hobson denied yesterday that he was a hero, saying: "I had to do something."

Derrick North, 81, realised immediately that it was Mr Hobson when the 34-year-old, wanted for questioning in connection with the murders of twin sisters and an elderly couple in North Yorkshire, walked into his garage on Sunday afternoon.

Mr North said Mr Hobson used loose change to buy matches, cigarette papers and a bottle of water at his garage on the A19, north of Shipton-by-Beningbrough, near York.

Mr North, who built the garage 46 years ago and has been open for business almost every day since, said he was then approached by Robin Wilson from the upholstery shop next door, who had also seen Mr Hobson.

Mr North said: "We decided between us it was him. He ran down to his place and rang the police. He [Mr Hobson] set off then and went behind the furniture place. He looked very tired. He looked as if he'd been sleeping out."

Asked if he was frightened by his experience, Mr North said: "No way." He said he was "just delighted we were able to do something".

Mr Hobson was taken to Harrogate District Hospital after his arrest and he was expected to remain there last night. His condition was described as comfortable.